Wednesday, September 18, 2013

9:43 PM
Thank you to people who write beautiful and useful things.

Thank you to Facebook.

Thank you to friends who post the beautiful and useful things that people have written on Facebook.

Thanks to you, I finally have the words.

I finally have the words to appropriately encourage (not pressure) my somewhat reluctant and physically timid child to to engage more directly in her AYSO soccer scrimmages and games.

I finally have the words to celebrate the fact that she actually did get on the field and play in her game last Saturday instead of just watching from the sidelines as she did during her first game the prior Saturday.

I finally can be a little bit more at peace with who she is (unlikely to be the one of the better players) and respect her other contributions to the team as a selfless cheerleader and a good friend.

It has not been easy for me to be the parent of the kid who is indifferent to the game, when so much of me wants to be out there running, kicking, and scoring as I did for many, many years of my life. By comparison, it seems easy to be the parent of the kid who "gets" the game and is dominating the field - that I can relate to. It feels much more challenging to be the parent of the kid who is happily picking flowers or cheering for her friends while the game goes on around her.

But this is a good challenge for me. It is reinforcing that my daughter is her own person, and not an extension of me and who I am/was and what I want/wanted. It is making me realize my own prejudices, current and historical, about what adds value to a situation. In her own lack of judgement, innocence, and non-competitiveness, my five year old is teaching me an important lesson in humility.

And all of this is proving to be an extremely good lesson in finding the right words to say to my daughter, like:

 "I love to watch you play".

My Daughter is 2nd From Left in Purple - the One Running, Smiling, and Ever so Pleased that her Friend got the Ball
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  1. And this would "fill up her bucket." My son's kindergarten teacher has been passing a great book around to the families in his room. It's called "How Full Is Your Bucket (For Kids)," and ever since we read it tonight, I can't stop thinking about just wanting to fill up my kids' buckets all the time. If you and your daughter haven't read this, it's worth it. Hope you're well! XO